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BABBITT: Milton Babbitt centennial

“Milton Babbitt was not just a composer.
He was a teacher.
He changed my life.
He taught me what music is about.”
– Stephen Sondheim


BABBITT: Milton Babbitt centennial

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur ‘genius’ Fellowship, Milton Babbitt was lauded as a pioneer in electronic music, beloved as a professor of composition, and legendary as “the father of American serialism.” Born on 10 May 1916 and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Babbitt’s early fascination with jazz and popular music awakened a curiosity for complexity that blossomed in the uppermost echelons of the musical academe. After studying both mathematics and music at the University of Pennsylvania and NYU, Babbitt served as professor at Princeton and Juilliard.

Over the seven decades of his compositional career, Babbitt wrote both tonal and non-tonal music, and expanded the controversial serialist method (also known as “12-tone music”) by manipulating every musical dimension – such as rhythm, timbre, and dynamics – to create what was known as “integral serialism.” The consummate “maximalist,” Babbitt’s works are highly contextual, always variable and never repetitive, often at the edge of the performers’ ability, abstract yet narrative, polyphonic yet playful. With every composition, Babbitt seemed to invent his own new musical grammar.

In this unprecedented concert, The Esoterics will celebrate Babbitt’s centenary by singing his entire catalog of a cappella choruses, several of which have never been performed live in concert. This program will include: An Elizabethan sextette, Four canons, Glosses, Music for the mass, More phonemena, Round, and Three cultivated choruses.

The Esoterics will offer three performances of BABBITT.
Please join us for this rare concert event! It will be music like no other.

Friday | 6 May 2016 | 800 pm | Seattle | St Stephen’s Episcopal Church | 4805 NE 45th St
Saturday | 7 May 2016 | 800 pm | West Seattle | Holy Rosary Catholic Church | 4210 SW Genesee St
Sunday | 8 May 2016 | 700 pm | Tacoma | Christ Episcopal Church| 310 North K St

General admission ticket prices are $25 at the door ($22 in advance).
Discounted admission ticket prices are $18 at the door ($15 in advance)
for students, seniors, the un(der)employed, and the differently-abled.
Active singers in other choral groups may also attend for $15.

The Esoterics’ SEASON 23 has been sponsored with generous support from: 4Culture
ArtsWA | The Aaron Copland Fund | Classic KING-FM | The Horizons Foundation
The Lutheran Community Foundation | Nikko Media Center | The Renaissance Foundation
The Seattle Foundation | Seattle Office of Arts & Culture